Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Bliss

The Stitchin' Post is a small shop on Philadelphia Street. If you know Saratoga it is on one of the narrow, steep streets off the main shopping street. This shop has been around for awhile, certainly before knitting was "IN". I first visited this shop in the late eighties. I don't know how much longer it has been there. A lovely stained glass sign welcomes you. Inside you will find an incredible amount of yarn. Draped across the shop, hangs a row of the perfectly made, hand knit socks in many colors that the owner, Norma Gessner, has for sale. Her double points are constantly busy creating these beauties. I've always admired sock knitters. What a selection of light weight and sock yarns she has, I've never seen so many! But there is much more. There are wools and synthetics, cross stitch and needlepoint supplies, needles, patterns, buttons . . . I know I didn't see it all. Where to begin? Time to dig out my list of impossible to find yarn. The rascal is hidden in the back of my wallet reluctant to emerge. I wondered if Norma had a beige ragg wool I need to repair an old, but much loved sweater. As you can see from the photo, she did and now it's mine. I looked at the scarf yarn which she had on sale and chose two balls of Berroco Zen. I can see a little drawstring evening bag for this yarn. The Ironstone, copper, extremely fine, metallic was my impulse purchase. I love the look of it, so wispy and shiny. This was definitely a stash purchase.

I bought my yarn and was about to leave when a crashing thunderstorm started. You can't believe how much rain fell in a short time. Looking out the window of the shop you could see water like a river, running down the street, lapping up over the curb onto the sidewalk. Here I was trapped in a YARN store. Can you believe my luck?

It was then that we began to talk socks. Norma was working on a gorgeous pair. The yarn in the goblet is the yarn she was using. It is called Tofutsies. She has every color they make of this yarn. One skein will make a pair of socks with enough left over for a pair of baby socks. She showed me how much was left. It was neatly wrapped in the original label. This is a habit I must cultivate. The label is the key to finding more yarn and those important care instructions. The amazing thing about this yarn is the fiber content. It is wool, soy and Chitin. How organic is that? You know wool comes from sheep and soy comes from beans, but Chitin (?) Well, Chitin comes from shrimp and crab shells. It's only 2.5%, but still. I was intrigued. The yarn has a great feel to it. It is supposed to be naturally antibacterial. The skein in the goblet is my shrimp cocktail. Norma asked if I made socks and I had to admit that I have not done any lately. I asked her for her favorite sock pattern. It is Classic Socks for the Family by Yankee Knitter Designs. It has all sizes and yarn weights. She tells me if you just do exactly what the pattern says, and don't question it, your success is assured. If I can make socks like hers using this pattern, I will be thrilled. The rain finally let up so I left to continue exploring.

Not long after I found myself seeking shelter from the rain again, this time in Borders. I plopped myself down in the knitting book section and had a wonderful time. I'm proud to say I purchased just one book, One Skein, by Leigh Radford. All in all for a knitter, it was a fabulous vacation!!!

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